An experimental solar-powered sanitation system promises to bring better health and hygiene to developing countries. At the same time, the system shows promise as a practical alternative to current bathroom fixtures in the United States and other industrialized nations.
The combination toilet and waste management system is designed to operate on solar power and will convert human waste into water for use in the toilet, urinal and sink. The equipment will efficiently flush, disinfect and recycle waste products for further use, according to Builder.
Currently, the solar-powered sanitation equipment is intended for use in developing countries where running water, sewer systems and electrical power are limited or nonexistent. Two prototype systems are currently in operation in New Delhi, India. The company later plans to field systems in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The system also has potential for use in American homes where water resources may be limited or where municipal sewer systems don’t exist. The system could be a viable alternative to septic tanks in areas such as Cape Cod and the Atlantic seaboard.
As the system is refined and produced in larger quantities, it could also be a solution for septic tank users in rural or remote areas with limitations on water and sewer accessibility.
The system was developed by engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The equipment is designed to be used without the need for running water or a continual water supply. It also doesn’t need a connection to a sewer system for waste disposal.
The developers and the funding organization hope to use these systems to improve health and reduce the spread of disease in developing nations that lack resources such as electricity, water and sewage systems.
Construction Monitor has been the leading source for building permit data and housing start information for the last 25 years. Contact us today for more information on solar-powered sanitation and what it may mean for the construction industry in the future.
Image via Shutterstock.com